I have stood in awe next to skyscrapers in New York and marveled at the expansive view at the top of Mount Audubon in Colorado. Today was a new “wow” as we did the Zumwalt Meadow loop at the base of the canyon.
The trail is simple – just a 1.5 mile loop. It is the scenic contrast on the hike while surrounded by towering rock formations that make it a spectacular setting.
We gained access by crossing a wooden suspension bridge to a trail that starts with a spongy bed of packed pine needles. Next, the trail turns into a boardwalk over a marshy area around the meadow. On the south edge of the meadow the trail passes through boulders and fallen rock – some lava splattered, others with veins of quartz. Oh, if these rocks could talk. Or, I thought, maybe they are talking and I just don’t speak their geologic language!
When we were in the middle of the lush meadow, looking up at the enormous granite walls around us that almost made this feel like an intimate setting, we paused for a moment of gratitude for the gifts of sight, hearing, smell – to be able to fully experience the fresh pine scent, songbirds, babbling river, and wind in the treetops. It’s hard to fully describe why this is one of my most pleasant experiences in the park, but this place in the heart of the canyon definitely touched my heart.
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